Yearly Archives: 2015

Our Company Carol Service 15.12.15

IMG_0792An excellent service at St Lawrence Jewry with  a full congregation of Liverymen, their families and friends .

We were warmly welcomed by the incumbent The Revd Canon David Parrott and the service was ably conducted by our own The Revd John Kronenberg who delivered a thoughtful address based on the Dickens’ Christmas Carol story.

The music and singing under the direction of Bill Gloyn with the RICS Singers, Michael Chapman, organist and Damon Eames, trumpeter, were all superb giving us an uplifting start to Christmas.

Following the very happy service we were invited for drinks and canapés, generously provided by Past Master Rob Bould and Court Assistant Tony Joyce  of Bilfinger GVA, in their palatial new offices at 65 Gresham Street.

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Lunch at The City Livery Club 11.12.15

I had an excellent fish and chip lunch with a group of allied Masters to discuss events to commemorate the 350th anniversary of The Great Fire of London.

 

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Carol Service in The Tower of London 9.12.15

IMG_0788David and I attended a magnificent Carol Service with the Company of Engineers in The Chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincula within The Tower. It was extremely atmospheric walking through The Tower to get to the Chapel at night.

The singing was led by a superb choir and was a wonderful start to Christmas. It was in all a very happy and uplifting occasion.

After the service we enjoyed a delightful Livery Dinner in the Clothworkers’ Hall where the Master delivered a most amusing speech.

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Reception to promote The Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch 7.12.15

IMG_0784I attended a reception in the grand setting of The HAC Club, together with a large number of Masters and their Clerks, to hear a message from The Lord Mayor and representatives of ABF The Soldier’s Charity, as a forerunner to The Big Curry Lunch to be held in Guildhall on Thursday 16th April 2016 which we are all encouraged to attend.

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Red Cross Christmas Market 1.12.15

I had a fun morning supporting the Lady Mayoress’ Christmas Market in Guildhall.  At least 10 Livery Companies were taking part and plying their wears, in aid of funds for the Red Cross.

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The Mercers’ Company Livery Concert 30.11.15

photoMy husband and I joined visiting Masters and partners who were guests of the Mercers’ Company in their splendid Hall at a Concert performed by a most accomplished string quartet and brilliant pianist from The International Musicians’ Seminar, Prussia Cove. The programme comprised works by Dvorak and Brahms.

We were welcomed with a champagne reception before the concert which was followed by a delicious supper generously provided by the Mercers.

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Prince Napoleon Banquet 25.11.15

20151125_191358Several Masters and I were privileged to be present at Stationers Hall to witness the granting of The Freedom of the City of London to His Imperial Highness The Prince Napoleon, Head of The Imperial House of Bonaparte in the year of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.

It was an amazing evening attended by a glittering array of European Royals and other very distinguished guests. We all enjoyed a splendid banquet illuminated by candles, guarded by Pikemen, and accompanied by musicians and trumpeters.

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Freeman Society Event 25.11.15

I joined about 30 Freemen of our Company at a  Formal CPD event kindly hosted by Cushman and Wakefield in their splendid offices.

The speaker was Antony Phillips on L & T  leading cases this year.

It was an excellent opportunity for me to meet many of our Freemen and to encourage interaction with our Company. They expressed a willingness to volunteer to help out with our events viz The TowerAthlon.

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Lord Mayor’s Address 23.11.15

I attended Mansion House with our Clerk. After refreshments all Masters and Clerks were seated in the Egyptian Hall to hear the new Lord Mayor talk about his year. Lord Mountevans describes himself as a “Maritime Lord Mayor” based on his background. I noted particularly his shared support of Sea Cadets who need more adult volunteer helpers. The afternoon concluded with an excellent glass of champagne.

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Schools visit to Temple 20.11.15

Students from all four of our schools met up at Temple Church where we were given an excellent talk by the Verger on the history of the Church. After a group photograph, we we proceeded to the gallery of Middle Temple Hall for a brief presentation mainly given by two bright graduate students from Savills on a career as surveyors in the property profession.

We all had the privilege of dining in the Hall, a fine example of Elizabethan architecture.

It was was fun talking with the students, who were a great credit to themselves and to their schools.

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The College of Arms visit 19.11.15

photoTwenty liverymen and guests joined my husband and me in a fascinating visit. The Windsor Herald of Arms, William Hunt, gave us an amusing and informative overview of the history of the College and showed us some of the notable coats of arms including our own. The evening concluded with an excellent buffet supper.

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Solicitors of the City of London Livery Dinner 18.11.15

IMG_0754The Master, Alderman Dame Fiona Woolf, hosted a splendid Dinner in the delightful modern Haberdashers’ Hall. The GHSM provided a beautiful musical interlude and we heard an excellent speech, which was both witty and meaningful, by Sir Peter Hendy, former Chairman of Network Rail.

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The St Cecilia Service 18.11.15

IMG_0748This Annual Celebration of Music was this year held at St Paul’s in aid of Help Musicians UK. I attended with 28 Masters, The Lord Mayor and both Sheriffs. We processed in gowns and badges to the South Transept.

The music and the anthems were amazing. Readers included Sir Willard White. We enjoyed a stunning solo performance on violin by Tasmin Little and the excellent address by Sir Richard Stilgoe.

The  splendid singing was lead by the combined choirs of St Paul’s, Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral.

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Actuaries Lecture 17.11.15

It was a real pleasure to attend the Actuaries Lecture in the historic Staple Inn Hall with its amazingly beamed roof.

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The Masters of most of the Companies were present to hear a lecture by The Right Hon. Lord Willetts on “The Baby Boomers and their Pensions”.

We enjoyed a delicious two course  supper with a question and answer session concluding the evening.

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GHSM Supporters Evening 16.11.15

IMG_0739I was privileged to attend this evening along with several other Masters and to have the opportunity to meet our music student Tomyr Warcaba-Wood aged 19. He is one of 5 children, his father died when he was 8 and his mother with great sacrifice and dedication educated all her children, several are gifted musicians.

Tomyr’s main instrument is trombone. He admires his tutor Simon Wills tremendously. He is a remarkably mature, sensible  and mature young man.

He says that we have made all the difference for him and that he would not have been able to study at GHSM without the support of WCCS. I found it a truly heart warming and humbling experience.

We were entertained throughout the evening by a delightful string quartet.

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Lord Mayor’s Show 14.11.15

photoOur Wardens, William Hill and Daniel Carter joined and supported me in the 800th Lord Mayor’s Show. We were part of the Modern Companies grouping.

The tragic events in Paris the day before were marked by 2 minutes silence at 11am.

As the procession progressed we kept up a smart pace spurred on by the cheering of the crowds, the military bands and the enthusiasm of our fellow liverymen. We saluted the new Lord Mayor and Sheriffs on the balcony to Mansion House and we enjoyed the hospitality of the Master Mariner  on HMS Wellington at lunchtime.

In all it was a splendid occasion though sadly more than a little damp!

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Lord Mayor’s Flotilla 14.11.15

My husband and I were delighted to be invited with some other Masters to join guests on RNR ‘HMS  President’ for breakfast to spectate the opening of Tower Bridge for the arrival of the Flotilla, to see The Lord Mayor and his Sheriffs in all their finery and to share the “Rum Ceremony” with them.

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Lady Masters Association 12.11.15

I was kindly invited, as a guest, by Past Master Elizabeth Edwards to an informal gathering of Current and Past Lady Masters in Guildhall. It was a jolly occasion with a very useful exchange of ideas and a good opportunity to make new contacts. We enjoyed an excellent buffet supper.

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Quiz night 10.11.15

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We had a fun evening at The East India Club. After welcome drinks we enjoyed a supper interspersed with quiz questions on a variety of topics. Rivalry amongst the teams was keen, I presented the winners  with a handsome plate.

Our thanks to the helpful (and corruptable) Quiz Master, Chris Mills, Simon Waugh for his organisation and to Simon Camomile the Club Member.

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Remembrance Day and Endeavour Award 8.11.15

IMG_7804My husband and I drove to 135 Squadron in Ewell where we were joined by liveryman David Reynolds and welcomed by the Commanding Officer Major Charlie Wasilewski and Major Dil Limbu. We all attended a wreath laying ceremony and Service of Remembrance in St Mary’s Church.

The Endeavour Award winner this year is Cpl. Sandra O’Neill. She is currently serving in Cyprus so I presented the Tankard to the Commanding Officer who received it on her behalf. A delicious Gurkha Curry lunch followed the presentation.

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RICS Service of Remembrance 6.11.15

I was joined by several Past Masters and some Liverymen at a most moving Service for all Surveyors who died and suffered as a result of war, held in St Margaret’s Westminster. The music was beautifully led by the RICS Singers, the address given by The Reverend Paddy Cable, former Assistant Chaplin General RAChD and the Commendation was delivered by Prof. Alan Gillett OBE DSc FRICS.

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Visit to The Old Bailey 5.11.15

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Students from all four of our schools joined Amanda and me on a most interesting tour of the Central Crimminal Court. We were addressed, amused and guided by Charles Henty, The Under-Sheriff and Secondary of London who is responsible for the smooth running of the Courts.

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Opening of the Garden of Remembrance 2.11.15

It was an honour to represent the Company at the Royal British Legion Service in the grounds of St Paul’s. The Band of the Coldstream Guards and the Legion Standards, carried by veterans, were in attendance. The Lord Mayor Locum Tenens, Ian Luder, the Sheriffs and all Masters planted crosses. In all it was a most moving and solemn occasion.

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Engineers Annual Banquet 30.10.15

photoThe Engineers Annual Banquet at Mansion House was a glittering occasion. The full Civic team were present and I was delighted to find myself seated next to Alderman Charles Bowman. Excellent fare and speeches were from the Master Engineer, The Lord Mayor and Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford. Music was a spirited performance by The Live Brass Quintet.

It was super for me to be a guest at a Dinner hosted by my husband’s Company which meant that I knew a high proportion of those present.

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Service at Westminster Abbey 29.10.15

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The Abbey was full for a splendid occasion to commemorate the 600th Anniversary of The Battle of Agincourt, attended by HRH The Duke of Kent and HRH Princess Michael of Kent. We had an address by The Bishop of London, one reading by Robert Hardy and an actor in battle dress delivered the king’s speech from Henry V. After the service we proceeded  to Church House for a jolly reception with many of the VIPs and the other livery companies.

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Musicians’ Company Dinner 20.10.15

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A delightful evening for Masters and Clerks at the splendid  Mercers’ Hall. The Master Musician gave a most gracious speech, her guest speaker was  Colin Thubron and we were entertained by the very lively Kaleidoscope Saxophone Quartet.

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Installation Dinner 19.10.15

Harpist from The Guildhall School of Music

Harpist from The Guildhall School of Music



One of the most amazing evenings of my life. The Drapers’ Hall did us proud last night, everything was splendid. I was delighted to welcome so many distinguished guests including 14 visiting Masters and so many liverymen and friends. We were entertained delightfully by The Guildhall School of Music and our two speakers Sir Gavyn Arthur and Sir John Armitt.

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National Trafalgar Day Parade – Trafalgar Square London, Sunday 18 October 2015

When I was at school, Trafalgar Day was one of those dates drummed into you and although it was never celebrated, the 21st October was always known as an important and historic day. It was therefore very special to be invited as your Master to the Trafalgar Day Parade at Trafalgar Square, beneath Nelson’s column, to celebrate the victory of the British fleet over the French and Spanish at the great sea battle at Trafalgar but with the sadness of Lord Horatio Nelson’s death — shot by a single musket ball from a French sharpshooter from high up in the rigging.

By coincidence, this August bank holiday just passed, I spent a week at Burnham Market and went for a few drinks at the Lord Nelson pub in Burnham Thorpe which is where Nelson had his farewell party in 1793 before setting off to sea for the last time. His Father was the Rector of three churches in the Burnhams, the other two being in Burnham Market. Sadly Nelson’s Father died when he was only 9 leaving him an Orphan as his Mother had died when he was just three. So began Nelson’s journey to becoming the World’s most celebrated naval officer when he was sent to sea at the tender age of 13.

210 years after his death at Trafalgar I am sat below Nelsons column in the second row alongside Vice Admiral Sir Jonathan Todd the former Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the British Royal Navy fleet and Rear Admiral John Clink the current Flag Officer Scotland, Northern England and Northern Ireland and Sea Training Royal Navy. By coincidence Vice Admiral Todd was part of the aircrew selection panel when I applied for my RAF Flying Scholarship so after some 43 years I was able to thank him for selecting me.

We were treated to an hour of physical training routines, marching and massed band displays primarily by the Sea Cadets who had travelled from all around the country to be with us. The last item on the programme was the service of hymns and prayers conducted by the Sea Cadet Corps Chaplain Reverend Graham Hitchins who also just happens to be the Rector of the Church at Burnham Market where Lord Nelson’s Father was Rector!

Immediately following the event I was escorted by my two new Admiral friends through St. James’s Park to Wellington Barracks where speeches, awards and a marvellous buffet lunch was served. Despite being a keen sailor somehow I have never felt as close to the sea and Nelson as I have on this day.

A very fitting end as my last official engagement as Master of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors before the Court Meeting on Monday 19th October. I have indeed had a wonderful year and loved every minute of it. What a privilege and pleasure it has been to hold this office.

Graham F. Chase Master

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Committee Club 313th Dinner, Tuesday 13 October 2015

At over 100 years old the Committee Club is one of the three oldest Surveyors clubs in existence. Designed to be a ginger group to keep the RICS on track and in touch with its Membership one might argue that it’s need is as great now as it has ever been.

A select dinner in the Carlton Club in the prestigious and quite exquisite ground floor dining room this was a daunting task with 50% of the diners being Chartered Surveyor Liverymen including the Father of the Livery, Past Master and Committee Club Father Professor Alan Gillett who chaired the event, Past Master Michael Baker and no less than 3 members of the Court. The other diners however had no links with the livery and not a clue what it was I stand for or do as Master for a Livery Company. So a wide variation in knowledge to say the least.

My brief was to say a little about the Livery and City of London and my year in office as I have only 5 days left before I hand over to Lady Davies.

I referred to the role of the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs, the existence of 110 Livery Companies, 39 Livery Halls, our own livery approaching 400 Members with 100 Freemen, the fact that the Liveries and Mayor raise over £50 million a year for Charity, The Lord Mayor makes over 20 overseas business visits and receives some 140 overseas delegations during his year and with the City of London responsible for generating about 20% of UK GDP.

I stressed the Livery was not about me as Master but as an organisation we support 18 university student bursaries, 200 apprenticeships through CSTT, 4 London Schools with grants and mentoring, We promote the Property Marketing Awards and are movers and shakers as a modern company in the Livery movement.

I gave the assembled diners some insights into my year as follows:

Highlights:
Allied & Associated Liveries lunch initiated, organised and hosted by the Chartered Surveyors Company at Apothecaries Hall with the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs.
The Lord Mayors Show.
The visit to Guildhall and the Magna Carta.

Low point:
My gown not arriving at the Sons of the Clergy Service at St Pauls and therefore being unable to process with the rest of the Masters.

Most Surprising:
Visit to RAF Wyton and meeting Air Vice Marshall The Lord Beaverbrook and a fly past at 100ft of the Battle of Britain flight Dakota resplendent in invasion markings.

Most unusual:
Jailed and Bailed in the Tower of London by the Sheriffs and having to parade through the tourists guarded by the Beefeaters whist chained to 30 other Masters and only being released on a fine of £2000 for charity.

Most daunting:
The three formal Livery dinners which secured a total of 700 attendees.

Most moving:
The Company’s Centenary carol service at St Lawrence Jewry on the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of WW1 and the story told by our Beadle, Jimmy James.

Other memorable moments:
Livery Hall Walks — all 39 of them a distance of some 12 miles covered.
Sea Cadets Marching Band at the Tower of London.
Knights Bachelor service in the Crypt of St Pauls.
Behind the scenes visit to St Pauls with the Surveyor to the Fabric of St Pauls.
Theatre visit — American Buffalo.
Guildhall School of Music production of Guys and Dolls.

All of that was probably enough to send many of the guests to sleep but equally a few more have asked about Membership so you never know!

Graham F. Chase Master

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135 Geographic Squadron and 42 Engineer Regiment – Expedition to Mongolia, Thursday 8 October 2015

Mongolia is somewhere we have all heard of and know roughly were it is but few would be able to pronounce the capital of Ulaanbaatar and fewer still would know how vast a country it is being the second largest landlocked country on earth at some 3,000 miles across at its broadest point.

One of the requirements of service in the armed forces is that you involve yourself in training were it is appropriate to operate at high altitudes and work at the edge of your qualifications. Therefore spending 18 days under canvass at 2,900 metres and climbing 3 peaks over 4,000 metres across a moving glacier satisfies both these tests for most humans that I know.

We were given a fascinating presentation of the expedition by several members of the 12 strong team that took up the challenge, brilliantly lead by Captain James “Nessie” Smith and explained in  great detail by Sapper Victoria James. On the night they had the support and attendance of officer in Command of 135 Geographic Squadron Captain Charles Wasilewski and Commanding officer of 42 Engineer Regiment Lt Colonel Nicky Bell. If was also wonderful to welcome Commander Phil Neville of HMS Echo and his wife Sue who had just flown in from Gibraltar where he had left the ship earlier that day.

The photographs and videos of the expedition and the scenery they encountered were fascinating and exhilarating and one can see why a number of candidates do not make it through the selection stages at the preliminary training camps held in the Cairngorms in Scotland. With temperatures ranging between -5c and +30c this is not a picnic but a serious look at survival where lives are quite literally on the line. To make the point and for a bit of fun, everyone on the expedition gets thrown down a crevasse just so as to get used to how it feels to be rescued.

My respect for these men and women simply grows when you see the pressure they put themselves under and makes me proud that we are indeed fortunate to have them as our affiliates.

My thanks to David Reynolds who organised the event and GVA Bilfinger who hosted and provided us with a very full selection of wines, beers and great food. A most entertaining, educational, thought provoking and satisfying evening in very good company

Graham F. Chase Master

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